Home | Previous

Making embroidery is one of my hobbies and a lot of fun doing it. The embroideries are all handmade. I use all kinds of fabrics, techniques and styles.

Collecting materials

Start collecting materials, fabrics and odds and ends, anything you want. Use firm fabric for the background to start with, this is important because it makes working a lot easier. Use plain colors for the background. It is useful to have a sketch or potograph of what you are designing. Start cutting the fabric into proper shape and pin it on the background. Make sure that is as you like it best, because in this stage you still can make changes. Make a nice composition and when satisfied start stitching it on the background. You can use sewing thread, embroidery thread or both, what you like best.

Finishing it

To finish your design you can decorate it with beads, ribbons, wool, small sequins, lace or whatever you like. The possibilities are endless. For decoration you can use embroidery thread in different kind of thickness and colors. The finishing touch of course is to frame it.

Application:  A technique of arranging all kinds of fabrics in different kind of colors in a nice composition. This technique is already used for centuries for small objects.

Start cutting the fabric into shape, arrange it and pin in on the background. If you don't like it make changes or make a new composition. If everything is in the way you had in mind start stitching it. You can sew it by machine or by hand whichever you prefer. This technique is a simple way of making nice embroidery.

To finish your embroidery you can use all kinds of decoration such as: beads, sequins, lace and all kinds of sewing- and embroidery threads. You can buy these materials if needed in special shops or markets. You don't need fancy stuff to start with. You can use scraps of fabric and odds and ends, especially when you start for the first time.

Freestyle:  Freestyle means you can use all kinds of techniques at the same time. For the background you can use textile paint. This results in a totally different style.

This style I like most because I like to experiment with textile paint and other materials. For decoration I use all kinds of beads, lace and sequins. Sometimes I use paper and plastic foil instead of fabric. In this technique you don't use much fabric only small pieces. You can use all kinds of material. Freestyle is the style where I can use my imagination and experiment with all kind of materials. That is why most of my embroideries are made in freestyle technique using my own sketches.

Mola: This technique originates from the Cuna Indians from South America. The word Mola in fact means blouse. These specific blouses are made using a double layer of fabric of which the top layer is cut open at a regular spacing. Then the fabric is folded back creating lancet shaped openings through which the bottom layer can be see.

In embroidery you can use as many layers as you wish. In that case you work layer by layer down to the bottom. All is embroidered together. The essence here is the diversity of embroidery stitches and threads. You should take care not to decorate too much as the different layers and the various stitches and threads are very colorful. Color combinations are very crucial in this technique.

First you cut the fabric layers in the require shape and tack the layers together. Mostly I use two or three layers. Now this package is tacked and stitched to the background with different stitches and embroidery threads. The sections in the top layer are cut away exposing the next layer. The edges of the cutaways then again are embroidered to the layer below with or without hem as desired. This way you work your way down the layers till reaching the background. As said the use of further decoration should be limited because the technique already is very colorful.

Return to embroideries